Sunday, July 27, 2014


I love films, and anyone who knows me knows for a fact that a great film gets the weak side of me; it comes second only to the special people (and animals) in my life.

Since the last few week, my enthusiasm to get out and about is a massive low, and so once again, I have taken refuge to films.

Googled a list of top foreign language films and found many that interest me, one amongst them was 'Downfall'.

Downfall is a German film directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel. Set in 1945, this film shows the final days of Adolf Hitler when Berlin was on fire by the Red Army. The film reveals some very disturbing realities of behavioral extremes.

While the full film had many interesting stories in it, however I will mention about two events -- one that I thought was most brutal, and the second that I thought was most bizarre.

The brutal first, the film showed that one of Hitlers loyalist, Joseph Goebbels, a politician in Nazi Germany and close aide of Hitler moved his wife and his 6 children to Hitlers bunker days ahead of the final surrender. His wife, Magda Goebbels, the mother of their 6 young children brutally poisoned each of her children herself, one at a time -- because she did not believe in a future that was not National Socialist and a world without Hitler was not good enough for her children. After poisoning and murdering her children, they both kill themselves. Hitler, before committing suicide himself, presents Mrs Goebbels with a tie pin with the Swastika, and says to her 'You are Germanys bravest mother'. My heart shuddered when I assimilated what I saw -- how can a mother, under whatever spell she may be in, murder her children in cold blood, one at a time. How hard must it be for anyone to do that, let alone a mother. Which then gives me a feel of the often talked about hypnotic influence Hitler had on his people. The fuhrer had created such extreme dependency on himself, that the very thought of not having his leadership rendered the world 'not good enough' in the eyes of his followers who then gave up their lives and killed their loved ones under the firm belief that what awaits them in the future was not even worth giving a chance.

The strange incident now, Hitler got married. Thats not all that strange, what makes it strange is that he got married to Eva Braun a day before they committed suicide together. What can one make of this act? The fact that marriage has always been seen as the 'honor' one can give to a man-woman relationship? That behind the ruthless dictator, there was a man who loved a woman, and wanted to express his love in the last few hours of his life? Maybe even for the sake of history? Whatever the reasons were, one thing is for sure that at the end, every person goes back to basics and wants to hold what's dear to them.

I did not think the marriage was romantic or even necessary at that point, however the fact that Eva chose to stand by the man she loved was painfully romantic when seen without the context of the kind of person Hitler was. And that reinforces the belief, that Hitler did have something special about himself, otherwise you can't explain the loyalty of thousands of Germans even when he had lost all power and dedication could not have been forced.

In the end it doesnt matter how many people left you or committed treason, what matters is who is still with you. The other truth I re learnt is about hope -- whilst under extreme stress and pressure, people lose their ability of rightful judgement, at the same time, most people want to keep the ray of hope alive, no matter how unrealistic that hope is.

The film was wonderful, and I found it online with English subtitles, I am not a big fan of the copyright act, but that aside, I think online viewing is legal as long as you are not downloading and distributing.

If you are interested to watch the film, you can find it here.

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